HC Deb 05 December 1972 vol 847 cc1090-1
8. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has now considered the proposals regarding training courses for young people made to him by the Teesside Youth Employment Committee; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

Various proposals on the training of young people have been made by the Teesside Youth Employment Committee. Those relating to the provision of further industrial training board award schemes and to the continued provision of limited skill courses for young people have been accepted for the current academic year; others have been rejected and some are still under consideration.

Mr. Sutcliffe

But thousands of teenagers are still suffering enforced idleness in the North. How long will my hon. Friend take to deal with the situation in terms of providing industrial training courses for these young people? How long will he take to act upon the very constructive proposals put up more recently by the Chairman of the Northern Economic Planning Council?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

My hon. Friend would be very prepared to see a deputation from those who have put up various proposals in that area. As far as training is concerned, the Department is again meeting half the cost of special industrial training board award schemes. Five boards are running schemes and over 4,000 first-year training places have been made available, a number of them on Teesside. We are taking various other training places and, of course, the area is benefiting from community industry schemes as well.

Mr. Leadbitter

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that in the Government training centres alone considerable numbers of places are not taken up? In my constituency, just north of the Tees, 72 men and boys are wholly out of work for every vacancy registered, and this is a measure of the intensity of the problem. Will the hon. Gentleman therefore give an assurance that he will enter into pertinent discussion with me and other hon. Members representing that region to see whether the Government can do much more than they are doing?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

There is obvious concern about Teesside. I accept the hon. Gentleman's concern. But the number of vacancies has improved. There may be places in Government training centres which have not been taken up in certain skills. That depends on the economic activity in the particular trade at the time. But this is an aspect which we keep and will continue to keep carefully under review. If the hon. Gentleman wants to come and talk to me about these matters I shall be glad to welcome him.

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